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Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr Launches Sports and Entertainment Practice

Published: 12/12/2019
Industries: Gambling | Sports | Sports and Entertainment | Video Gaming and Esports

New Lateral Partners Help Bolster the Firm’s Client Roster Across the Industry

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP announces the creation of its Sports and Entertainment Practice to more fully serve clients across the sports, esports, video gaming and gambling sectors, which include the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Timberwolves and International Speedway Corporation. While its attorneys have long served clients in the sports and entertainment industry, the Firm’s capabilities and client base have been strengthened by the addition of several lateral partners and by its growing work on esports-related matters.

Exemplary of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s work in this space, it recently represented International Speedway Corporation (ISC) in its merger with NASCAR Holdings, Inc. and Nova Merger Sub, Inc., with ISC becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of NASCAR. International Speedway owns and operates 13 racetracks and motorsports facilities, including Daytona International Speedway in Florida, home of the Daytona 500 race, and Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. After this deal closing, ISC’s deputy general counsel communicated his gratitude to lead partner, Michael Gold, and the Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr team, "You had our backs each step of the way. This was a complicated process enough and then add on it’s the most important transaction in the history of the sport. It literally wouldn’t have been possible without you."

Al Coleman, chair of the Firm's Sports and Entertainment Practice and a Corporate partner based in its Minneapolis office, firmly believes that collaboration and cross-service throughout the Firm is critical to effectively serving clients. "We formed this group as a framework for unifying all of our capabilities and knowledge across our footprint," he explained. "Our multi-disciplinary Sports and Entertainment team includes attorneys from our Corporate, Private Equity/Venture Capital, Real Estate, Higher Education, and Litigation practices, with some niche experience in areas such as anti-money laundering that pertains to gambling operations and Title IX implications relative to universities' sports and esports teams that help expand our industry breadth and enhance our client service."

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr attorneys advise on a wide variety of legal matters throughout the industry—from negotiating commercial agreements and protecting intellectual property to helping clients build new facilities and defend against class actions. Clients across the sports spectrum include professional sports teams in leagues such as the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB; university sports teams; collegiate athletic organizations; and developers and operators of sports facilities and surrounding entertainment centers. In the video gaming and esports sector, the group represents video game designers and distributors, colleges and universities with esports programs, and esports investors. For example, the Firm advises King.com Limited, also known as King Digital Entertainment, a video game developer that became popular after releasing Candy Crush Saga in 2012. For gambling-related matters, the attorneys advise casinos, gaming equipment vendors, wagering-technology companies and casino development companies.

Adept and nimble at providing legal services in innovative, cutting-edge areas, such as cannabis, InsurTech and Opportunity Zones, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr is on the forefront of advising clients in the burgeoning world of esports. Attorneys are working with their higher education clients on establishing esports leagues; venture firms that are creating new esports franchises, such as the Minnesota Vikings’ owners establishing the Minnesota RØKKR, the ninth team in the Call of Duty League through their investment firm WISE Ventures; and real estate developers who are building esports arenas, such as the developer of the country’s first dedicated esports facility, a 3,500-seat arena in the Philadelphia Sports Stadium Complex.

About Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP

The 400-plus attorneys of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr are dedicated to providing client-centric counsel to businesses throughout the United States and internationally from 16 offices stretching down the East Coast from Boston to Miami and extending into the Midwest by way of Chicago and Minneapolis. We work with well-known corporations, exciting start-ups and an array of closely held and privately held companies, as well as institutions of higher education, nonprofits and governmental entities. As a full-service law firm, we handle matters involving bankruptcy, business and finance, estates and trusts, litigation and real estate services. We also advise on intellectual property, immigration and foreign investment services. Energy, higher education, insurance and life sciences are among our core industries of focus.